29 September 2014

Tissa Attanayake explains himself

I resigned from the Leadership Council.  I claimed that others in the Leadership Council were treating me badly.  I claimed that all I wanted was party unity.  I can say a lot of things but you have to keep in mind that most of the time I don’t say, I read.  From a script, that is.  I am Tissa Attanayake.  You can call me ‘Mr Do as I am Told’ but as you will soon discover there’s a reason why I do as I am told. Once you understand this you will see how intelligent I am. 

I think I have been treated unfairly by not just the Leadership Council but by the media in general.  In political parties there are leaders.  Then there are followers.  Parties which have constitutions such as ours are dictatorships.  Of course we can protest, try to change things and even push out our chests and claim we will oust the leader, but at the end of the day, the leader prevails.  This is something I know.  Those who jeer at me and think they have more brains haven’t read the constitution of the United National Party. I have.  I have read it, studied it and understood that the only logical way of asserting membership is to do the bidding of the party leader. 

I am a pragmatic politician.  That pragmatism prompts me to act as though I am answerable only to my conscience, that I have a mind of my own and that I have party interest at heart but the truth is that there’s absolutely no point in indulging in such fantasies.  I know that party interest is actually party leader’s interest.  As a party member I am bound by reason and membership to do what I am told.  It’s not just upholding party discipline but being sane, pragmatic and intelligent.
Here, in this parallel universe, I can say all this.  I can and will say more.

I did not leave the Leadership Council for any of the stated reasons. I left it because in the context of new developments (as defined and orchestrated by the leader, for the leader and with guaranteed approval of all, grudging or otherwise) the Leadership Council has to be subverted.  My resignation helps, the leader felt.  My middle name is ‘Obey’ and so I obeyed. 

I’ve come clean.  I wanted Sajith back.  Wait, what am I saying? The leader wanted Sajith back.  So I spoke to Sajith’s media backers.  People might say it’s a hell of a how-do-you-do for a major decision of a party (like appointing a Deputy Leader) to be in effect taken by a guy who runs a television station and another guy who runs a newspaper house, but in case you forgot, it’s the leader’s decision.  The leader decided that a big man in media and a wannabe big man in media will make important party decisions.  He decides that I must play peon and mailman. I play peon and mailman.  

That’s because I am intelligent and pragmatic. 

Ok, so you want to read me better?  It’s simple.  When I speak my mind (I have my bad days; days when I forget myself, become less intelligent and forget the ayanna-aaaayanna of the party constitution), I come up with nonsense.  Like when I told anyone willing to listen that Harin was indulging in a maadya pradarshanaya (media blitz) and would never come forward to contest and that he was not the right candidate.  Lapses such as that notwithstanding, I have been and will always be the No 1 UNP Kaaraya.  Sorry, I should have said ‘No 2 UNP kaaraya’, No 1 was, is and always will be The Leader.  I am the one man who has read and understood the party constitution, the man who deserves to be called Mr Loyal, Mr Brains and Mr Pragmatic and therefore Mr No 2. 

P.S.  I was an ex-officio member of the Leadership Council, courtesy my position as General Secretary, UNP.  Technically speaking, I cannot resign.  My position can only be made vacant by me resigning from the post of General Secretary or being removed from that post.  I don’t think many people figured this out!!

[All this in a Parallel Universe called 'Humility' of course]